Syntax in On Monsieur's Departure

Syntax Examples in On Monsieur's Departure:

On Monsieur's Departure 5

" Or..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

The poem concludes with an intricate branch of possibilities, bound together by that magic word, or. The dualities and contradictions that launched the poem at the outset remain as it reaches its end. As it develops, the poem does not reach for clarity so much as a more perfect expression of confusion.

"Since..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

Due to its complicated syntax, this line has two potential meanings. If we read “since” as because this line explains why she both “freezes” and “burns” in the previous line. The speaker could mean that she has fragmented herself and “turned” another self from her person. She could also mean that because she turned away from herself, she has created another self.

"I do..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

Because of the syntax of these lines, “I do” could refer to either of the feelings mentioned in the previous line—“I do” love or “I do” hate. When she contradicts this action in the secondary clause of this line, she asserts that she cannot say she ever meant her love or her hate. This contradiction reinforces the presentation of this narrator as having two selves: she is both the person who loves and appears to hate. She therefore cannot feel either purely.

"I do, yet dare not say I ever meant; ..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

This line follows the same structure of line two: the narrator begins to assert that she “does” something and then immediately contradicts this action by claiming that she could never say she meant it. Like line two, this line shows that the narrator is uncertain. “Dare not” highlights the threat in this uncertainty that “forced” touched on in the previous line: the narrator is not only uncertain but restrained from asserting certainty.

"and yet..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

The narrator interrupts her active statement “I love” with an immediate contradiction: “and yet.” She cannot fully finish the thought or focus on the love, she must qualify it with the outward appearance of that feeling.This self-contradiction demonstrates the narrator’s uncertainty: she wants to claim that she “loves” purely, but must recognize this antagonistic component of that love.